Festool (Ad #2)

Special Events in the next 30 days

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 21

Thread: French Cleats

  1. #1
    Corporate Member
    DQ

    Nickname
    Mike (64)
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Cary, NC
    Posts
    1,672
    Visit Freq
    6.85 visits/week
    Threads
    321
    Classifieds
    0

    French Cleats

    I'm getting ready to put some French cleats on a wall to hold parts cabinets. Yesterday, while watching a recorded show with Tom McLaughlin, I heard him say to use a 40 cut. He's the first one I've heard say something other than 45. He didn't explain why he uses 40 instead of 45. Does anyone have any thoughts on his preference? Do you have any other suggestions (plywood, hardwood, pine) for French cleats?

  2. #2
    Forum Leader Senior User
    Nickname
    Dave
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    968
    Visit Freq
    6.50 visits/week
    Threads
    72
    Classifieds
    0

    Re: French Cleats

    You were watching the episode on the tool cabinet, right? I saw that too and use that angle in the plans I made for that project. I'm not sure why 40 or that it matters as long as both pieces have the complimentary angle cut. A flatter angle would have less of a knife edge which if damaged could prevent the cabinet from sitting on the wall cleat nicely. Not sure there'd be that much differences between 40 and 45, though.
    SketchUp Authorized Training Center

  3. The following 3 users say Thank You to Dave Richards :


  4. #3
    Senior User
    DQ
    mpholway's Avatar
    Nickname
    Matt
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Posts
    169
    Visit Freq
    5.54 visits/week
    Threads
    23
    Classifieds
    0

    Re: French Cleats

    I use french cleats like I owned the patent. I have always used a 45% and have never had any kind of problem. By using a 45 I never have to worry about mis-matching.

  5. The following 2 users say Thank You to mpholway :


  6. #4
    Senior User
    Nickname
    Jeff
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Rougemont, NC
    Posts
    7,366
    Visit Freq
    6.92 visits/week
    Threads
    635
    Classifieds
    0

    Re: French Cleats

    I think Mr. McLaughlin misspoke when he said 40 degrees and meant to say 45 degrees. One board ripped at 45 degrees is correct for cleats.

    Dave, did you use 40 degrees in your SketchUp plan? The mating piece is 50 degrees to be complementary and it's attached to the wall.
    Last edited by Jeff; 10-08-2018 at 12:51 PM.

  7. The following user says Thank You to Jeff for this useful post:


  8. #5
    Senior User
    DQ
    Skymaster's Avatar
    Nickname
    Jack (78)
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Zebulon, NC
    Posts
    1,847
    Visit Freq
    6.73 visits/week
    Threads
    43
    Classifieds
    0

    Re: French Cleats

    YUP

  9. The following user says Thank You to Skymaster for this useful post:


  10. #6
    Forum Leader Senior User
    Nickname
    Dave
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    968
    Visit Freq
    6.50 visits/week
    Threads
    72
    Classifieds
    0

    Re: French Cleats

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff View Post
    I think Mr. McLaughlin misspoke when he said 40 degrees and meant to say 45 degrees.
    Uh.... Nope. I doubt it.


    It's unlikely that he misspoke AND wrote 40 at different times.

    There's no hard and fast rule about the angle on French cleats.
    SketchUp Authorized Training Center

  11. The following user says Thank You to Dave Richards for this useful post:


  12. #7
    Senior User
    Nickname
    Jeff
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Rougemont, NC
    Posts
    7,366
    Visit Freq
    6.92 visits/week
    Threads
    635
    Classifieds
    0

    Re: French Cleats

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Richards View Post
    Uh.... Nope. I doubt it.


    It's unlikely that he misspoke AND wrote 40 at different times.

    There's no hard and fast rule about the angle on French cleats.
    Yes, so the top piece (5.5" w) has to be cut at 50 degrees. That's 2 cuts on the table saw instead of a single rip cut at 45 degrees.
    Last edited by Jeff; 10-08-2018 at 01:07 PM.

  13. #8
    Forum Leader Senior User
    Nickname
    Dave
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    968
    Visit Freq
    6.50 visits/week
    Threads
    72
    Classifieds
    0

    Re: French Cleats

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff View Post
    Dave, did you use 40 degrees in your SketchUp plan? The mating piece is 50 degrees to be complementary and it's attached to the wall.
    Yes. Of course. I used what I was told was the angle and yes, I know that 50 is the angle on the cabinet side while 40 was used on the wall-mounted cleat as shown in the photograph I got from Mr. McLaughlin.
    Last edited by Dave Richards; 10-08-2018 at 01:06 PM.
    SketchUp Authorized Training Center

  14. #9
    Forum Leader Senior User
    Nickname
    Dave
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    968
    Visit Freq
    6.50 visits/week
    Threads
    72
    Classifieds
    0

    Re: French Cleats

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff View Post
    Yes, so the top piece (5.5" w) has to be cut at 50 degrees. That's 2 cuts on the table saw instead of a single rip cut at 45 degrees.
    No. That's a single cut to rip the cleat board into two pieces.

    Why are you second guessing him? Or me for that matter?
    Last edited by Dave Richards; 10-08-2018 at 01:07 PM.
    SketchUp Authorized Training Center

  15. #10
    Corporate Member
    DQ
    Gofor's Avatar
    Nickname
    Mark
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Goldsboro, NC
    Posts
    3,211
    Visit Freq
    6.73 visits/week
    Threads
    80
    Classifieds
    0

    Re: French Cleats

    If you are spitting the top and bottom boards of the cleat from one piece, the two beveled faces will match with one cut. Doesn't matter if your saw blade is tilted to 40 degrees, 45 degrees, 35 degrees, etc, the bevels will mate. If cutting two different boards, run one through on the left side of the blade and the other through on the right side of the blade.

    Go
    Practicing at practical woodworking

  16. #11
    Corporate Member
    DQ
    smallboat's Avatar
    Nickname
    smallboat
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clemmons, NC
    Posts
    1,487
    Visit Freq
    6.31 visits/week
    Threads
    132
    Classifieds
    0

    Re: French Cleats

    The angles will be the same regardless of what angle is chosen for the cut.
    Picture the extreme cases- if one side is cut at 90 the other will be 90 as well. It won't work as a cleat but they "match"
    If you go to the opposite extreme and cut one side at say 10 degrees the mating side would also be 10 degrees not 80.

    The the angles would add up to 90 if you were making a 90 degree corner- which is not the case here.

    (or what Mark just said in fewer words!)

  17. The following 2 users say Thank You to smallboat :


  18. #12
    Senior User
    DQ

    Nickname
    Jim
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Lexington, SC
    Posts
    1,460
    Visit Freq
    5.27 visits/week
    Threads
    21
    Classifieds
    0

    Re: French Cleats

    I occasionally use french cleats but normally hang cabinets with screws through a hanging rail on the cabinet into the stud. What really holds the cabinet is friction between the cabinet and the wall. The screw just forces contact.

    I am writing this, however, to relate a caution based upon my son's experience. The house he and his wife bought had cabinets in the garage he filled with tools to fix cars with. A year or so after they bought the house, a large cabinet came crashing down into the car parked next to it. It was held by a french cleat. The cleat wasn't damaged so I think it probably was never correctly mated. I suggested he check the others and drive a few screws just to be sure they stay up.

    Do if you use french cleats, make sure they come down after the two pieces meet so you know the parts are mated. A screw to be sure they stay down wouldn't be a bad idea IMHO.

  19. The following user says Thank You to JimD for this useful post:


  20. #13
    Senior User
    Nickname
    Jeff
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Rougemont, NC
    Posts
    7,366
    Visit Freq
    6.92 visits/week
    Threads
    635
    Classifieds
    0

    Re: French Cleats

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Richards View Post
    No. That's a single cut to rip the cleat board into two pieces.

    Why are you second guessing him? Or me for that matter?
    Dave, thanks. I'm not second guessing you or him but I'm just curious why he chose 40/50 instead of 45/45.

    Not a big deal and it should still be a secure fastening method to hang the cabinet.
    Last edited by Jeff; 10-08-2018 at 03:18 PM.

  21. The following user says Thank You to Jeff for this useful post:


  22. #14
    Forum Leader Senior User
    Nickname
    Dave
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    968
    Visit Freq
    6.50 visits/week
    Threads
    72
    Classifieds
    0

    Re: French Cleats

    I don't know why he chose 40. Maybe he just got tired of turning the crank on his tablesaw and decided it was close enough. I expect tilting the cut even just a few degrees would be sufficient especially if you screw the cabinet to the wall anyway. No need to crank it all the way to the stop.
    Last edited by Dave Richards; 10-08-2018 at 03:42 PM.
    SketchUp Authorized Training Center

  23. The following user says Thank You to Dave Richards for this useful post:


  24. #15
    Corporate Member
    DQ
    Phil S's Avatar
    Nickname
    Phil Soper (68)
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    4,529
    Visit Freq
    9.42 visits/week
    Threads
    531
    Classifieds
    0

    Re: French Cleats

    My two cents is anything between 30 and 60 would work fine - no need to even measure. If you want to hold a very heavy cabinet than 30 would be best as it relies more on than shear strength of the fasteners than the pullout. However you might want to lean more towards the 60 if you were worried about earthquakes as the deeper angle would resist uplift better. Or just crank your table saw over to something close to 45 and go with it

  25. The following 3 users say Thank You to Phil S :


Similar Threads

  1. Experience with "French Cleats" for hanging kitchen cabinets?
    By tonyps in forum General Woodworking
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 09-26-2017, 04:55 PM
  2. French Rolling Pin
    By smandal in forum Woodturning
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-26-2010, 06:02 AM
  3. French polish
    By Rob in forum Finishing
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 06-11-2010, 06:56 PM
  4. Advice with French Polish
    By jstevens62 in forum Finishing
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-13-2007, 09:40 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •